Ah, hair extensions can be tricky. They can lead to bad hair days every day but they can also give you that extra volume you’ve always wanted. If you’re looking into getting extensions for the first time or even if you’re a regular, there are things you need to know to take care of your hair (you don’t want a receding hairline like Naomi Campbell). Extensions are either sewn in with a needle and thread (this option lasts the longest) or are glued to about five strands of hair. You may want to rethink getting extensions if you like the bedhead style, the back of your head could look like Britney Spears and if you have friends like hers, they won’t tell you your roots are showing. That’s why we’re giving you the do’s and don’ts of hair extensions before you step out outside with a beauty blunder.
Don’t rely on hair extensions like Naomi Campbell. You need to keep your natural hair healthy and your scalp needs to breathe. Take breaks between extensions for your hair and scalp to recover. If not, you’ll start balding at an early age.
Do try them for special occasions like your wedding. For that dream hair style you’ve always wanted to try but don’t have long or thick enough hair, extensions can be the solution. You could have an updo straight out of a magazine photo shoot.
Don’t try extensions for the first time on your wedding day. It’s rare, but you could be allergic to certain glues and you want to test out how the extensions feel at least a week for your big day.
Do use about 40 strands on your first time so you can get the feel of them. From there you can decide whether you want more or less, depending on the volume you’re going for.
Don’t brush your hair like you used to. If you’re not gentle, you can cause breakage. The extensions will tangle easier than your natural hair so you will need a good comb so you don’t end up with dreads underneath.
Do take extra precaution when throwing your hair up. Make sure your extensions don’t make an appearance like Paris Hilton’s.
Don’t go for strands that are a different color or texture from your natural hair, unless you really want some bright red strands. And if you do, avoid looking like Christina Aguilera and make sure to style ALL your hair the same. If you’re curling your natural hair, don’t leave your extensions straight.
Do try clip-ins for a safe alternative to the needle and thread. Easy to clip in, easy to take out.
Don’t go public with visible lace-front or wig tape (Beyonce is a big-time victim). It’ll pull your skin taught and give you an obviously fake hairline.
Do make sure you go to a stylist that is experienced with extensions. The point of extensions is to add length or volume to your hair without being detected.
Don’t style your hair without protective products. Just because it’s synthetic or hair that’s not yours, it needs to be taken care of. Use a heat protector before reaching for your flat iron so you don’t damage your extensions.
Do schedule maintenance appointments about every six to eight weeks.
[Image via Smart Gallery/Kevin Winter]